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What to do with an old store card?

New Contributor

What to do with an old store card?

I recently discovered I have a JC Penney card that I apparently got in 1998. I'm guessing my mom had me get it when I was in college to establish credit. Haven't used it in several years and didn't even remember it until I saw it on my credit report. It's my oldest TL by about 2 years on a thin file (or at least what was a thin file until my recent mini app spree). Credit limit's $124, which I believe is their inactive account limit.

Any thoughts on what I should do with it? Leave well enough alone and let them keep reporting? Ask them to send a replacement and start using it every once in a while? Close it myself before they close it (assuming that "closed by credit grantor" even matters)?
Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES
Super Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?


Shane1 wrote:
I recently discovered I have a JC Penney card that I apparently got in 1998. I'm guessing my mom had me get it when I was in college to establish credit. Haven't used it in several years and didn't even remember it until I saw it on my credit report. It's my oldest TL by about 2 years on a thin file (or at least what was a thin file until my recent mini app spree). Credit limit's $124, which I believe is their inactive account limit.

Any thoughts on what I should do with it? Leave well enough alone and let them keep reporting? Ask them to send a replacement and start using it every once in a while? Close it myself before they close it (assuming that "closed by credit grantor" even matters)?

Are you an AU on the account?  Is the account listed as open on your credit reports?  If its open have Penney to send you a replacement card.You don't want your oldest revolving account to no longer report. It will reduced the years you've been managing credit. 

Message 2 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

Hi Shane and welcome to the Forum.

 

I had an almost identical situation with JCPenny a few years ago. During a divorce 8 years ago I went through a BK that was later dismissed. I lost all my credit cards in the ensuing years. I first pulled my credit report about 3 years ago and was totally surprised to see my JC Penny card still reporting. At that time the card hadn't been used in 13 - 14 years. It reported a $300 limit.

 

 I called the number I had for JCPenny listed on my credit report, spoke with a CSR and asked her to check to see if the account was indeed open. It was, although listed as inactive. She told me she would send me a card for the account, but that she had to lower the CL to $100. She said I could ask for a CLI after 3 months. I did exactly that, and in 3 months the CL was raised to $1800. It is by far my oldest account at a little over 17 years and I am eternally grateful to JCPenny for it.

 

Call them!

Message 3 of 17
Senior Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?


Shane1 wrote:
I recently discovered I have a JC Penney card that I apparently got in 1998. I'm guessing my mom had me get it when I was in college to establish credit. Haven't used it in several years and didn't even remember it until I saw it on my credit report. It's my oldest TL by about 2 years on a thin file (or at least what was a thin file until my recent mini app spree). Credit limit's $124, which I believe is their inactive account limit.

Any thoughts on what I should do with it? Leave well enough alone and let them keep reporting? Ask them to send a replacement and start using it every once in a while? Close it myself before they close it (assuming that "closed by credit grantor" even matters)?

 

Keeping this old TL alive could be very valuable for you.
Message 4 of 17
New Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

Thanks. That was painless.

 

I called up the number on my credit report and explained that I have an old account with them. They verified my information and will be mailing the replacement. Also reinstated my old credit limit ($200... not much but it's a start) and suggested I get 2 or 3 months of activity before applying for a CLI.

Message 5 of 17
Senior Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

smart move.
Message 6 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

Congratulations. Be sure to click the love button on their site after 3 months.
Message 7 of 17
Senior Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

Great job reviving that old TL!

Message 8 of 17
New Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

Clicked the love button today and got CLI to $2400.
Message 9 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: What to do with an old store card?

WHAT ? ! ?!  That's a 12-fold increase!  Congratuations!  Smiley Happy
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Too many accounts; too many debts; lots of open credit, and lots of utilized credit. Scores somewhere in the 600s - I have no earthly idea exactly what number, but not 700 like it was, briefly.
Message 10 of 17